RITSUKO MATSUSHITA / Japan
Ritsuko was born in Yokohama, Kanagawa.She began studying photography in 2013. and is currently active as a photographer. Her work is heavily influenced by the world of picture books and childrenʼs literature she read as a child and the teachings of Zen, which Ritsuko encountered as an adult.
She feels that there is no escaping the thought that “all things are intangible, fluid and constantly changing”. She often poses the question when does anything become something? And, how long does it stay that way? All her works cannot escape from that idea on which they are based.
I Will Return To The Universe Someday
When I was a child, I did not know where my body began or ended. Even my fingers and toes seemed so distant that I was marveled at being able to move them at will. But, then, if I was in a field or on a beach, I felt like I could reach across the whole expanse from end to end. I could not reconcile with being just a body. I often wondered why I occupied my body in the first place.
In fact, my imagination would sometimes get the best of me and I would picture myself broken up into thousands of tiny pieces and scattered by the wind. As frightful as it was, the thought was liberating at the same time. I wanted to keep that feeling, but it regretfully faded as I grew up. I still am not convinced sometimes by my own physical existence, that everything I am and am not is defined by what is separated into inside and outside by a thin layer of skin. That train of thought seems so heartless. If you reduce it down to the cellular level, almost everything I was one year ago has been completely replaced today. So, doesnʼt that make me someone else? It would be stranger to think it is still me.
In the end, I am no more than a combination of elements that were scattered across the universe by some supernova. They just so happen to come together right now in this body of mine. But, after I die, I will be reduced to elements and scattered across in the universe once again. In Zen, they say, “Nothing exists unto itself; everything is just an assemblage of things.” Harbouring doubts about the physical world may just come naturally to me.
As I see it, I am but a part of the universe to which one day I will return.